• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Opener Approaching - Grayling Quest Begins

    Grayling In News, Again
    groupie hatch blooming
    zebras attack washington

    .. As the Memorial Day weekend opener approaches we're getting our gear together for the annual Grayling quest. We scouted the water in the park and the rivers in the Madison drainage are a bit tame, even with the warm weather and the slightly high runoff.
    .. Meadows that were flooded last year are just a 'scosh' high and very clear for this time of year. The diminishing snow pack bodes well for early season fishing - summer is looking "iffy" right now.
    .. The waters in the Yellowstone drainage are a bit colored and look more seasonal, (and they open a bit later too.) The weather forecast for opening weekend is looking salubrious - but that is subject to change on an instant's notice.
    .. The drift boats are beginning to appear in town, the guides are arriving and scouting the waters, beer supplies are being stockpiled, and the Spring crush at wader-friendly motels is apparent already. There may be a room or two available , but the desk jockeys inform us that it's going to be a busy weekend. Check the sidebar for wader-friendly lodging. Tell them hello for us.
    .. One sure sign that the fishing guides have arrived is the blossoming of the "groupie hatch." A little publicized event that takes place in the pubs of West Yellowstone every year at this time.
    .. Hoards of attractive, beer-swilling, fish-catching, females crowd the corners of the pubs. They pounce upon any unwary guide that happens to enter for a moment of well deserved relaxation.
    .. Be forewarned that if you enter any of the West Yellowstone imbiberies you may be assaulted if you look like a guide - or even if you might know a guide. It's a tough life being a fly fishing guide in Yellowstone.
    .. Recently we posted a note about the lack of action on Grayling protection. The original note by George Wuethner that we referenced has sparked a spirited debate about the pros and cons of any action on behalf of the fish. As of today there are 23 extensive comments that contain good information, (and an occasional diatribe.) This is an important issue and bears watching.
    .. The Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks site provides basic information about the species in Montana. The Arctic Grayling Recovery Program site details the recovery efforts that are planned and are being carried out currently.
    .. Protect Your Waters reminds us of the continuing battle against invasive species that are cropping up in new places almost daily. The Eastern Sierra Opener has come and gone, but remember that there are New Zealand Mud Snails in the Owens River - take precautions with your gear.
    .. The fight against Whirling Disease in Maryland has taken a new twist, and the state has killed an additional 20,000 trout in its efforts there.
    .. There have been boats with zebra mussels discovered in Washington. Washington state officials are expanding their efforts at inspection stations and weigh-stations in their effort to intercept the invader.